Comedian Bobby brings the crazy story of his family - including superstar Justin Bieber - to Sheffield

For a man who spends his life talking about his problems, stand-up comedian Bobby Mair has a cushy number sometimes.

Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 1:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 1:16 pm
Comedian Bobby Mair, currently feeling Loudly Insecure

When we spoke by phone, he was in the French Alps entertaining "rich kids whose parents are out here to ski" and he was also heading off to Poland, where he has an English-speaking following, for shows. He's heading to The Leadmill in Sheffield this Friday, February 2.

Canadian-born Bobby, who is now based in London, has become a well-known face on British TV with his appearances on comedy and panel shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Russell Howard's Good News.

He's talking on his current UK tour about being adopted and starting to look for his birth family. He said: "I talked about that in my very first show, saying I'm adopted and I never met my mum so it makes it hard to enjoy a lap dance, but I never did anything about it

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"Then I just got to this point where I was getting married and I was turning 30 and all these things. I wanted to know more about my DNA - is this the best I'm ever going to look?

"I was genuinely interested to meet someone who looks like me."

In the show, Bobby tells the story of what happened once he got his original birth certificate and started to do some research. He talks about finding his birth mum and meeting her and how it went.

"The crux of the show is that story. I also perform the best stand-up I've ever written over the past 12 years.

"I had a great time with the show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year and said let's see if people like it across the UK."

Bobby said he's had a lot of people approach him after the shows to say that they're adopted too and telling him their stories. He said: "It's nice to hear someone relate. There's tons of us out there.

"I'm going to do a deal, if someone's adopted they get a half-price ticket. There's no other benefit! It almost makes it worth being adopted."

One surprise member of his family is a pop superstar. Bobby said: "In my adopted family, my grandma was called Grandma Bieber. She died 10 years ago. A bit after she'd died this guy Justin Bieber pops up and I thought 'why has he got grandma's last name?'

"It turns out he's my third cousin and weirdly he grew up in the town where it turns out that my biological family are, which is Stratford in Canada. I tried to get in touch with him on Twitter but he never replied.

"It sucks not even to be the most successful person in in entertainment in your own family! I wanted to talk to him to see what the secret of success was."

Bobby's recently been working on another family-related project, a 'reality sitcom' with his partner, fellow stand-up Harriet Kemsley, called Bobby and Harriet Get Married, for youth-focused TV network Viceland. The show documents the duo planning their wedding over the space of five weeks.

Bobby said: "We cast our friends in it, playing themselves and filmed scenes from our real wedding. It's fun to figure out what's funny about you and try to show it."

He admits it's strange to mine your own life for comedy, though. "It's a quite vulnerable feeling sometimes but then I don't have to work a 9 to 5 job. I just keep feeling uncomfortable and feeling vulnerable for cash. It's an odd trade-off."

To book tickets for The Leadmill, go online to leadmill.co.uk